Smart growth news – May 16, 2012

Subdivisions go urban as housing market changes
USA Today – May 15, 2012
“It’s the kids (ages 18 to 32), the empty nesters (Baby Boomers with no kids at home),” says Chris Leinberger, president of Smart Growth America’s LOCUS (Latin for “place”), a national coalition of real estate developers and investors who support urban developments that encourage walking over driving. “These two generations combined are more than half of the American population.”

Housing’s Future: Renting and Downsizing
Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog – May 15, 2012
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like a rented apartment. That may be the mantra of U.S. households for the next three years, according to a new study released Tuesday by the Demand Institute division of the U.S. Conference Board. Most Americans still hope to own a home, the study found — but that home will be smaller than the MacMansions of the housing boom.

San Jose City Council OKs developer incentives to build downtown apartment high rises
San Jose Mercury News (CA) – May 15, 2012
To bring more workers to San Jose, the City Council in January enticed developers with fee and tax waivers to fill or build office space. Now, the council wants to lure more people to live downtown — even though it means giving residential developers millions in tax breaks and other fees to do so.

Residents weigh in on urban boundary expansion
Register-Guard (OR) – May 15, 2012
Eugene residents went to bat Monday in support of a proposal to add industrial land to the city, but ideas to expand the city’s urban growth boundary for residential homes drew a mixed response…If adopted, the recommendations would expand Eugene to the northwest and southwest for single-family homes by adding 200 acres near the Bailey Hill and Gimpl roads area, and 150 acres near Clear Lake Road.

Feisty city neighborhood holds its own in core
Kansas City Star (KS) – May 13, 2012
Those are just some of the things Tapper and many others hope are among the outcomes of the Center City neighborhood inclusion in the new Urban Neighborhood Initiative. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Greater Kansas City have targeted a 3.6-square-mile inner city area to improve the safety, health, education and income for residents.

Raleigh council asks county for half-cent tax increase
NBC 17 (NC) – May 14, 2012
The Raleigh City Council is asking Wake County Commissioners to put a half-cent sales tax increase on the November ballot. The City Council urged County Commissioners to schedule the referendum for the Nov. 6 general election so Wake County voters “can approve much needed transit improvements,” according to the city’s resolution.

Boxer: Highway talks past ‘organizational stage’; meeting with Mica Thursday
The Hill- May 15, 2012
Negotiations on a new federal transportation bill are moving quickly down the road, the chairwoman of the 47-member committee appointed to hammer out a deal between the House and Senate said Tuesday.

Local news

With ambitious downtown plan, Hackensack looks to draw people back to Bergen’s center
NJ.com – May 15, 2012
City Manager Steve Lo Iacono remembers the Hackensack of his childhood, when the city was a center of commerce. A destination. “Historically, it was the center of Bergen County,” Lo Iacono told NJ.com recently, adding that the presence of hospitals, several major highways and rail lines and the central offices of county government made the city a destination. “Those factors haven’t changed.”

Big dreams in Pascagoula: A transformed riverfront
WLOX (MS) – May 14, 2012
City officials in Pascagoula have big dreams for a piece of riverfront property that spans several acres. That’s why they are reaching out to private developers they hope share in those dreams…”Our vision is principally a combination of mixed use residential, retails and an office building.”

Vision LI to hold Smart Growth Awards
Newsday (NY) – May 14, 2012
Vision Long Island will hold its 11th Annual Smart Growth Awards on June 15. Several individuals and organizations will be honored for their efforts concerning Long Island issues such as affordable housing, historic preservation and advances in town development.

State grant will help Fall River restore blighted properties
Herald News (MA) – May 15, 2012
“The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is a key part of the Patrick-Murray administration’s mission of helping our cities and towns redevelop and revitalize abandoned and vacant properties,” Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki said. “These grants are a great example of what happens when federal and local government and agencies work together to help local communities continue to recover and grow.”

Downtown dormitories could give Main Street a boost
WACH (SC) – May 15, 2012
Columbia city council has approved a measure that could clear the way for downtown dormitory living along Main Street…”Main Street’s growing, they keep adding new things,” said Gordon. “I think it’s going to be great . It’s going to help the area develop businesses.”

Lansing City Council to consider tax incentives, special development waivers at Monday meeting
MLive.com (MI) – May 14, 2012
The Lansing City Council will hold a public hearing on a proposed $6.4 million brownfield redevelopment tax incentive for Emergent BioSolutions, the maker of the anthrax vaccine…If approved, the brownfield plan would capture about $10.7 million in new taxes the project is expected to generate.

Developer has plan for ex-Buffalo library branch
Buffalo Business First (NY) – May 14, 2012
After sitting empty for more than six years, the 115-year-old former Fairfield Library branch may soon find new life as a mixed-use development, anchored by five apartments.

Editorial and Opinion

Senate transportation bill is the one that works
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (WI) – May 15, 2012
House and Senate leaders are in a conference committee this week negotiating over a federal transportation bill that is necessary to continue funding for highway and other transportation projects and the jobs that depend on them. But in truth, there isn’t much to negotiate. The Senate passed in March a bipartisan bill that will do the job for the next two years. Although not ideal, it’s the bill that Congress should approve without delay.

Getting it right in the Queen City
The Architects Newspaper – May 11, 2012
America has a deep-seated anti-urban streak, which happens to dovetail, in the eyes of many, with a mistrust of government at every level. The Republican presidential primary has flared with anti-urban rhetoric, which is particularly shortsighted given the still-weak state of the economy, one in which urban areas are bouncing back faster than their rural and exurban counterparts. That cities are the country’s economic engine seems obvious almost to the point of being self-evident, so why is it still seen as politically advantageous to denigrate urban areas? And why are urbanists so bad at making the case for cities with the public? Meet Cincinnati Mayor Mark Malloy [sic].

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